As a health care professional you know that eating well and exercising are key factors in preventing illness and disease and for maintaining optimal health. But trying to make healthy food choices and finding time for regular workouts while on the road is no easy task. Here are some tips for staying fit and healthy while travelling.
Walk Get out those walking shoes and explore the city that you’ll be calling a temporary home. Not only is walking a great way to reenergize, it’s also an excellent way to explore your surroundings. Taking a few extra steps can also help you stay fit and burn calories. Park your car in the farthest lot and enjoy a quick stroll to the clinic or hospital. Take the stairs rather than the elevator when possible. Monitor your steps by wearing a fitness tracking device, like a FitBit. A good goal is to try and reach 10,000 steps in a day. If its lunchtime and you’ve only logged 3,000 steps it might motivate you to walk a little extra. Every step counts.
Study your schedule in advance Before you pack your bags for a locum tenens engagement, examine your schedule and add to your calendar times when you can commit to exercise. Fitness experts say exercising four times a week is ideal but doing something is better than doing nothing.
Take Five Only have five minutes? Try this circuit from Health.com that can be done almost anywhere:
- 1 minute of squat to left side kicks
- 1 minute of squat to right side kicks
- 1 minute of burpees
- 1 minute plank
- 1 minute of squat jumps
Get a gym pass Whether you are on a short- or long-term assignment, consider buying a temporary pass to a local workout facility. Ask around for a recommendation, try a google search or peruse Yelp reviews.
Pack Healthy Snacks Go ahead and splurge a little on a few comfort foods or must-try restaurants, but do it wisely and then get back to your regularly scheduled program. It’s also a good idea during long shifts or layovers at the airport to have healthy snacks handy. This simple trick can help avoid hitting up the dreaded vending machine which is usually full of packaged sweets and high sodium temptations.
Don’t Skip Breakfast! Eating a good breakfast is an excellent way to kick start the day. If your hotel offers a complimentary breakfast, bypass the glazed pastries and high calorie bagels and look for options like instant oatmeal with a banana and milk instead.
Making good nutrition and proper exercise a priority will result in a healthier and more fulfilling locum tenens assignment. Not to mention, the good example you’ll be setting for your patients.